Boss Chris Wilder is refusing to put any timescale for the return to action of the Cobblers’ four increasingly long-term injury absentees.
Full-backs Brendan Moloney and Evan Horwood have yet to play this season after undergoing summer operations on knee and groin problems respectively.
Winger Ricky Holmes has yet to start a game this campaign, and hasn’t featured since coming on as a substitute in the 3-0 win over Exeter City on August 15, the player pulling up with a back spasm in the warm-up of the following fixture against Barnet.
Finally, central defender Zander Diamond has been out of action with a dead leg he picked up in the 2-0 defeat to Plymouth Argyle on August 22.
All four players have already been ruled out of Saturday’s Sky Bet League Two trip to Morecambe, and although Wilder says all are progressing, he isn’t going to start putting a date on any returns.
“It is frustrating for me, because I want a full squad to pick from,” admitted the Cobblers boss.
“But it is more frustrating for the guys, because they want to play football.
“I don’t know one professional footballer that has been in this building and wants to sit in the dressing room and not play.
“All of the players who are injured don’t like being injured and want to play a part, because they are missing out.
“They are missing out on games like we had on Saturday (against Oxford), and good occasions, and missing out on helping us get points to climb the league.
“I could sit here and talk all day about the various injuries, and when we expect them to be back, but the top and bottom of it is they are not going to be back for Saturday.
“So it is no good me wasting mine or you guys’ (the media) energy, and when they are are ready they will be ready.
“They are working extremely hard to get back into full training and to be available, because they are the type of characters that want to play.
“They are four big players for us, they aren’t lads on the periphery or squad members, they are lads that would expect to play.
“So to lose those four, and obviously Jason Taylor now to suspension to make it five, is damaging.
“But we have to get through it and get over it, and we will do.
“We have enough quality and it means the door opens to other people, or we dip into the loan market and be successful, which we feel Shaun Brisley and Darnell Furling were on Saturday.”